The brand’s decision responds to a pressure campaign by top civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, known as #StopHateForProfit, which on Wednesday began calling for advertisers to suspend their marketing on Facebook in the month of July.
The North Face’s decision also follows calls by high-ranking politicians, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for advertisers to use their “tremendous leverage” over social media companies to force them to change their ways. The vast majority of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising.
The North Face’s commitment applies to ads on Facebook, but not Facebook-owned Instagram, the brand said in a statement. The North Face’s parent company, VF Corp, did not respond to questions about whether other brands in its portfolio, such as Vans, Timberland or Smartwool, may follow suit. For the year ended March 31, VF Corp spent $756 million on advertising.
“The North Face is halting all activity and U.S. paid advertising with Facebook until stricter policies are put in place to stop racist, violent or hateful content and misinformation from circulating on the platform,” the statement said.
In a statement to CNN Business, Carolyn Everson, VP Global Business Group Facebook, said: “We deeply respect any brand’s decision and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information. Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organizations are about how, together, we can be a force for good.”
“Let’s send Facebook a powerful message: Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence,” reads the website for the #StopHateForProfit campaign, which is run jointly by the NAACP, the ADL, Color of Change, Free Press, and Sleeping Giants.
“We think in this moment, if you really think that black lives matter, you have to draw a line in the sand, and you have to be willing to pull your seven figures or however much you spend,” said Brandi Collins-Dexter, senior campaign director at Color of Change, in a subsequent interview. “Any company that financially supports or otherwise provides cover for Facebook … you’re as much a part of the problem and the infrastructure that allows marginalization of people of color to take place.”